The Nurturing Darkness: Meditations on the Root Cellars of Newfoundland. The Artwork of Carol Bajen-Gahm is a pilot project for a series of books on Newfoundland visual artists. It resembles an exhibition catalog in that it includes about thirty images of Carol’s artwork and a 1,000 word essay on her paintings. It is planned to be released in mid May.
For many artists, their exposure, even from a solo show, is limited to the time the artwork hangs on the gallery wall, perhaps an article in a local newspaper and to the efforts of the gallery to promote their work. If the artist is fortunate to have a show in a major museum or large gallery, perhaps a catalog of their work will be published, but for most shows in commercial galleries, this is not the case as it is a costly undertaking. I am exploring the idea that the print on demand model may make books about artists more affordable to the point that many can have their own physical and digital books.
If the cost were reasonable, the artist and their gallery could use books of an artist’s work in marketing; e-books would make digital and social media marketing even more affordable.
Just Rhymes: A Collection of Poems by E. L. Sawyer started in my life as a comb-bound typescript series of poems that were written by my great grandfather one hundred years ago. They were given to me by my uncle Abner in the 1990s and sat on my shelf without so much as a glance for twenty-five years; then in April of 2015, my favorite cousin, Sally died. She had been a dearest friend and my spiritual comrade for decades and I was in deep grief when for some reason I picked up Just Rhymes. Instantly I knew I had to make E. L.'s poems into a book an dedicate it to Sally. Her poem at the beginning of the book is one of the most moving and scary I have ever read.
I printed twenty-five copies and send them to our family and her friends, but it has not yet been published. It is a goal of mine to get it into press in early 2020.
In 2003, on an expedition to Isla Guadalupe off the coast of Mexico, I came across an elephant seal badly injured by a great white shark. His face was badly scarred and he had lost one eye, but he was a huge, robust, alpha male with a sizable harem. Despite his nearly deadly encounter, he was healthy and on the top of his game. I had a great admiration for Sharkface, as I called him, and a few years later began to write about him.
I spent two wonderful years of my life in graduate school doing field research on elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) off the coast of California and as part of my studies, had gotten to know a myriad of sea creatures from around the globe. I came up with the idea of an epic odyssey with Sharkface as my wandering hero and started to write The Adventures of Sharkface. After twenty-six chapters, Sharkface had swum around the world, nearly come to grief several times and had fallen in love.
The book has languished as an e-book but lately my interest in the story has revived and I have decided to serialize it on this website. I am looking forward very much to spending some time with my old one-eyed pinniped friend and bringing others along on his adventures.